Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Saudia cancels flights to Canada

Saudia cancels flights to Canada

"All Saudia flights from/to Toronto, Canada will be suspended starting from 13 Aug 2018", the airline wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. But last fall, he said, the university had 49 undergraduate and 21 graduate students registered from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has expelled Canada's ambassador, recalled its own envoy and cut off trade ties with Ottawa after the United States neighbor denounced a crackdown on rights activists in the kingdom.

Just two months ago, Saudi women were given the right to drive a auto, yet several of the country's most prominent women's rights activists - including some who fought for years to drive - were arrested earlier this year on national security grounds.

A tweet from the Saudi Ministry of Education spokesman said that the country would end training programs, scholarship and fellowships in Canada.

The U.S. continues to support respect for freedoms and liberties, "including dissent and due process", the department said on Twitter.

Last year, Canadian exports to Saudi Arabia were nearly $1.5 billion, while imports from the Middle Eastern country were about $2.6 billion.

"We're reaching out ... to identify their circumstances, what their needs are, whether they have families with them", she said.

It's also planning to pull all Saudi students at Canadian universities out of school and have them enroll elsewhere.

It is unclear how many people this will affect, however, the Vancouver Sun said in 2015 about 5,000 news students arrive from Saudi Arabia each year.

"Canada is gravely concerned about additional arrests of civil society and women's rights activists in Saudi Arabia, including Samar Badawi, " the tweet said.

Traders said they had received an official notice from the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) about its decision.

Badawi's wife and children now live in Canada.

While both countries are friends of the USA, "both sides need to diplomatically resolve this together", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a media briefing later Tuesday.

The most high-profile case - and the one specifically referenced by Canadian Global Affairs - is that of Saudi activist Samar Badawi and her blogger brother Raif Badawi.

There has been a kingdom-wide crackdown on women's rights activists in the past few weeks with many being detained without charges. A London, Ontario-based firm called General Dynamics Land Systems signed a $15 billion deal with Saudi Arabia in 2014 to export its light-armored vehicles to the kingdom, the largest-ever arms deal for Canada.

Yes. In 2015, Riyadh recalled its ambassador to Sweden and stopped issuing work visas for Swedes after the European Union member country's foreign minister described a court decision related to Raif Badawi as "medieval" and the kingdom's ruling Al Saud family as presiding over a "dictatorship". Saudi Arabia has invested about $6 billion Canadian businesses since 2006, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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